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•  PR 

jl  B6 

Bayly,  Thomas  Haynes 
Perfect  ion 


University  of  CaWorni* 


NO.  xxxi  r. 






21  Jam 

IN    ONE     ACT. 






THIS  sparkling  little  afterpiece,  so  familiar  to  all  play-goers, 
was  originally  produced  at  Drury  Lane  Theatre  the  S5th  of 
March,  1830.  Mr.  Jones  as  Charles  Paragon,  and  Madame 
Vestris  as  Kate  O'-Brien,  sustained  the  two  principal  parts  with 
great  vivacity  and  ability ;  and  a  degree  of  success  rarely  bs- 
stowed  on  such  dramatic  trifles,  has  up  to  this  time  attended  the 
piece.  It  is  founded  on  a  tale,  which  appeared  in  one  of  the 
"  Annuals"  ;  and  the  lively,  drawing-room  air,  which  pervades 
it,  has  been  one  great  element  of  its  exceeding  popularity.  It  is 
not  only  one  of  the  standing  dishes  at  all  our  theatres,  but  is  quite 
a  favourite  among  those  venturous  young  gentlemen  and  ladies, 
who  mingle  in  private  theatricals. 

Thomas  Haynes  Bayly,  the  author  of  this  and  several  other 
successful  afterpieces,  died  at  Cheltenham,  England,  the  22d  of 
April,  1839.  He  was  well  known  as  one  of  the  most  graceful 
lyric  poets  of  the  age  ;  and  his  songs  have  been  deservedly  po- 
pular. We  need  but  enumerate  "  The  Pilot,"  "  She  Wore  a 
Wreath  of  Roses,"  "  The  Soldier's  Tear,"  and  "  Oh.  no !  we 
never  mention  her,"  to  prove  that  few  modern  ballad-writers 
have  produced  so  many  lyrics  that  are  widely  and  well  remem- 

In  a  notice  of  the  death  of  this  accomplished  writer,  the  Lon- 
don Literary  Gazette  communicates  the  following  facts  respect- 
ing him  : — "  Mr.  Bayly  has  been,  we  fear,  another  example  of 
the  sad  and  unfortunate  lot  of  literary  men.  Born  to  good  ex- 
pectations, and  married  to  a  beautiful  and  accomplished  woman, 
who  brought  him  a  considerable  fortune,  he  began  the  world 
under  the  most  favourable  auspices,  and  mixed  with  the  best 
•ocietv  of  the  day.  His  expectations  were,  however,  disappoint- 


ed ;  and  he  could  not  fall  back  into  a  sufficiently  economical 
course,  till  the  pressure  of  circumstances  impoverished  him  be- 
yond a  remedy.  For  it  is  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  for  a  person 
so  situated  to  disentangle  himself,  and  again  enjoy  a  fair  field  for 
the  exercise  of  hi-i  abilities.  In  England,  poveity  is  the  worst  of 
crimes  ;  and  punished  more  unrelentingly  than  the  deepest  guilt. 
So  did  Mr.  Bayly  find  it.  Demand  would  not  wait  for  the  fruits 
of  exertion  ;  and  uo  sooner  was  his  head  raised  above  the  stormy 
waters  to  breathe  for  awhile,  than  it  was  ruthlessly  plunger 
down  again,  and  he  was  doomed  to  perish,  as  we  have  said 
another  sad  instance  of  the  miserable  fate  of  genius  when  onct 
involved  in  pecuniary  embarrassments.  Mr.  Bayly,  besides  hi 
many  beautiful  songs,  has  written,  we  believe,  thirty  or  forty 
pieces  for  the  stage  ;  and  from  these  a  comfortable  provision 
might  have  been  drawn.  But,  alas  for  the  author  in  want ! 
He  must  sell  for  what  he  can  get,  to  supply  immediate  necessi- 
ties ;  and  sacrifice  his  birthright  indeed  for  a  mess  of  pottage  ! 

"  The  public  go  nightly  to  theatres  to  laugh  at  '  Tom  Noddy's 
Secret,'  or  see  '  Perfection,'  or  witness  other  popular  produc- 
tions ;  the  drawing-room  resounds  with  the  touching  melody  of 
'  Oh,  no,  we  never  mention  her  !'  or  the  playful  strains  of  '  I'd 
be  a  butterfly,' — whilst  the  writer  is  pining  in  sickness  and  dis- 
tress, dying  oppressed  andunpitied.  It  is  a  thoughtless,  a  heart- 
less, and  a  gloomy  picture  ;  but  so  it  is,  and  rare  is  the  occasion 
when  struggling  talent  is  taken  by  the  hand,  and  lifted  above 
the  wrongs  of  life,  or  even  allowed  to  lift  itself.  The  avenger  is 
quick,  the  saviour  slow ;  until,  as  here,  an  early  death  releases 
the  victim,  and  he  sinks  into  that  grave  where  the  wicked  cease 
from  troubling,  and  the  weary  are  at  rest. 

"  Mr.  Bayly  has  left  a  widow  and  two  children  to  bewail  hig 
prematute  loss." 


Drury  Lane,  1830.          Part,  1846.  Botton,  184S. 

Sir  Lawrence  Paragon  Mr.  Jas.  Brown.  Mr.  Bass.  Mr.  Gilbert. 

Charles  Paragon "     Jones.  "     Dyott.  "     G.  H.  Barrett 

Sam  (valet  to  Charier)    "    Webster.             "    A.  Andrew*.  "    T.  Placide. 

Footman "     Milot.  "    Adams. 

Kate  O'Brien Madame  Vestris.  Mrs.  Chas.  Kean.  Mrs.  Bland. 

Sutan  (her  maid) Mrs.  Orger.  Mrs.  Dyott.  Mrs.  W.  H.  Smith 


R.  means  Right;    L.  Left;    R.  D.  Right  Door;    L.  D.  Left  Door; 
8.  E.  Second  Entrance;  U.  E.  Upper  Entrance;  M.  D.  Middle  Door. 


R.,  means  Right;  L.,  Left;   C.,  Centre  ;    R.  C.,  Right  of  Centre; 
L  C.,  Left  of  Centre. 

fi.B.  Pottage*  marked  with  Inverted  Commas,  are  vtnally  omitted  in  tkt 


ACT     I. 

SCENE  I. — An  Apartment  in  Kate  O'Brien's  House. 
Enter  SIR  LAWRENCE  and  SUSAN,  R. 

Sus.  THIS  way,  Sir  Lawrence  ;  my  mistress  will  be 
delighted  to  see  you.  Law,  sir — you're  looking  better 
than  ever,  I  protest. 

Sir  L.  No,  Susan,  no — that  won't  do — better,  perhaps, 
than  when  you  saw  me  last,  for  I  was  then  in  a  hobble 
with  the  gout ;  but  as  for  "better than  ever,"  oh  !  Susan, 
you  wouldn't  say  so,  if  you  could  have  seen  me  five-and- 
twenty  years  ago.  I  certainly  was  a  fine  grown  young 
man — icas,  how  I  hate  the  word ! 

"  Sus.  You're  not  married  yet,  Sir  Lawrence ;  more's 
"  the  wonder,  as  I  say  to  mistress  ;  and  more's  the  pity,  as  I 
"  say  to  myself.  That  comes  of  being  such  a  fine  grown 
"  young  man,  you  never  could  meet  with  your  match. 
"  You'll  excuse  my  fi-eedom,  sir,  but  you  know  Miss  Kate 
"  and  I  were  playfellows  together,  and  she  has  quite  spoil- 
"ed  me." 

"SirL.  It's  my  opinion,  you'd  take  a  great  deal  of 
"  spoiling  :  you're  a  very  fine  young  woman,  Susan,  1 
"  say  so — /,  that  am  a  judge,  that  is  to  say — have  been  a 
"judge.  What  have  I  to  do  with  fine  women  now  ?" 

Sus.  What  a  pity  it  is,  s\r,  that  you  are  an  old  bachelor 
— I  mean  a  single  man. 

Sir  L.  Oh  !  out  with  it — an  old  bachelor  !  there's  a 
nick-name  to  break  a  man's  heart  with — old  Nick's  }wn 

16  PERFECTION.  [Act  I 

invention  !  But  I've  borne  it  for  many  a  long  year,  and 
it's  now  too  late  to  think  of  getting  rid  of  it.  Oh,  if  I  had 
but  married  Laura  Pennington  ! 

Sus.  Ah,  sir  !   why  didn't  you  do  it,  sir  ? 

Sir  L.  Why  Susan,  the  fact  is — she  was  rather  too 
short — not  much — just  a  degree  under  my  own  standard  ; 
a  sweet  creature,  though,  and  there  was  no  other  fault  to 
find  with  her — possibly  1  was  wrong.  But  then  there  was 
Araminta  Skinner. 

Sus.  And  pray,  sir,  what  forbid  the  banns  in  that  in- 
stance ] 

Sir  L.  I  did,  Susan  :  I  managed  to  break  oflf  before  I 
committed  myself.  I  think  she  was  growing  partial  to 
me ;  most  young  women  did  in  those  days  ;  but  all  of  a 
sudden  it  struck  me,  that  she  was-  a  little  too  short,  not 
much,  but  about  an  inch  below  my  idea  of  perfection. 
Then  there  was  Maria,  sweet  Maria. 

Sus.  Well,  sir,  and  why  didn't  you  make  her  Lady  Pa- 
ragon 1 

Sir  L.  She  was  just  a  shade  too  brown  ;  afterwards 
I  thought  I  should  have  married  Louisa. 

Sus.  Well,  what  was  her  fault  1 

Sir  L.  She  was  just  an  atom  too  fair  ;  then  Fanny  was 
too  fat,  and  Theodosia  was  too  thin,  and  somehow  or 
other,  in  every  girl  I  met,  there  was  a  something — 

Sus.  Not  good  enough  for  such  a  fine  grown  younj 

Sir  L.  Oh,  Susan  !  don't  banter  me  ;  'tis  no  laughing 
matter;  they  have  all  got  husbands,  and  olive  branches, 
and  all  that  sort  of  thing,  now,  and  I  am  a  fusty  old  ba- 
chelor !  Perhaps  it  is  not  too  late  to  mend,  either — is  it, 
Susan  1  hey,  what  say  you  ?  I  always  admired  you  vast- 

Sus.  Ay,  now  'tis  your  turn  to  banter ;  but  if  you  were 
*n  earnest,  before  our  wedding-day  came,  you'd  find  me 
oo  this,  or  too  that,  or  too  t'other. 

Sir  L.  No  !  upon  my  life,  that's  all  gone  by. 

Sus.  Indeed  !  then,  perhaps,  I  might  find  the  objection 
myself;  I'm  too — 

Sir  L.  Too,  what  1 

Sus.  Too  young  !  don't  be  angry,  I'll  send  my  mistress 
to  you,  sir — bring  your  nephew  and  your  ward  together, 


if  you  can  ;  1  fear  it's  too  late  for  you  to  think  of  matri- 
mony. "  If  you  will  not  when  you  may,"— -you  know 
the  proverb — young  bachelors,  who  are  too  hard  to  be 
pleased,  must  make  the  best  of  a  life  of  single  blessed- 
ness, f  Exit,  K. 

Sir  L.  Oh  !  that's  very  true  ;  but,  confound  it,  there's 
no  such  thing  as  single  blessedness ;  blessedness  always 
comes  double.  Well,  after  all,  if  I  can  but  bring  about 
a  match  between  my  ward  and  nephew,  it  will  be  a  con- 
solation to  me  :  they  have  never  met,  and  I  begin  to  fear 
he's  as  particular  as  I  used  to  be.  But  if  Kate  O'Brien 
does  not  charm  him,  he  must  be  difficult  to  please  indeed. 
[Kate  sings  without.]  Eh  !  that  is  her  glorious  voice. 

Enter  KATE,  R. 
My  fair  ward,  welcome. 

Kate.  And  welcome  a  thousand  times,  my  dear  old 
guardian  ;  why,  you  look — 

Sir  L.  Oh,  don't  talk  about  my  looks  ;  it's  a  sore  sub- 
ject ;  fiction  can  no  longer  impose  me,  and  that's  the  de- 
vil !  1  look  like  a  fusty  old  bachelor,  and  that's  the  fact — 
I  wish  it  wasn't — but  you  look  charmingly  :  why,  we 
haven't  met  these  two  years;  what  a  catalogue  of  con- 
quests you  must  have  to  give  me — but  no  engagement,  I 
hope  1 

Kate.  Why,  in  aflfaii's  of  war,  the  engagement  comes 
before  the  conquest,  does  it  not  1 

Sir  L.  That  may  be,  madcap  !  but  in  affairs  of  love, 
those  eyes  of  yours  vanquish,  and  then  the  engagement 
begins.  But  you  are  not  engaged,  I  hope? 

Kate.  Indeed  I  am  not ;  I  am  as  free  as  air,  and  am 
likely  to  continue  so.  But  why  are  you  so  anxious  about 
the  matter  1 — I  thought  you  wished  me  to  marry  ? 

Sir  L.  So  I  do — I  want  you  to  marry  a  man  you  have 
never  seen. 

Kate.  I  thank  you  kindly,  sir,  but  I  would  much  rather 
look  before  I  leap. 

Sir  L.  So  you  shall  look ;  and,  after  looking,  if  you 
will  take  the  leap,  old  as  I  am,  I  shall  jump  for  joy. 

Kate.  Well,  sir,  and  pray  where  is  the  happy  man, 
who  is  to  make  me  the  happy  woman  ? 

Sir  L.  He  is  at  my  house  ;  he  is  my  nephew — just  like 
me,  that  is,  just  like  what  I  was  at  his  age. 


[Act  I. 

Kate.  Irresistible,  then,  of  cotfrse  ;  and  is  he  as  particu- 
lar as  you  are  reported  to  have  been  1 

Sir  L.  Why,  to  say  the  truth,  1  am  afraid  he  is — but 
that  does  not  signify,  for  the  more  fastidious  he  is,  the 
more  will  he  appreciate  your  perfection.  Had  I  met  with 
any  body  like  you  in  my  younger  days — 

Kate.  Oh,  say  no  more,  I  guess  the  rest. 

Sir  L.  My  dear,  I  beg  your  pardon.  I  think  I  feel 
a  draught  ;  are  you  sure  that  door  is  shut  ? 

Kate.  I  hear,  sir — \Runs  to  the  door.\ — quite. 

Sir  L.  Bless  your  heart,  how  sensible  you  are — but  is 
there  not  a  nasty  whistling  wind  through  that  key-hole  ] 

Kate.  Oh  !  if  you  had  but  married  your  first  love,  you 
never  would  have  thought  of  that. 

Sir  L.  Old  bachelor's  whims  and  fancies,  hey  ]  no 
matter,  listed  doors  and  sand-bagged  windows  are  great 
comforts,  notwithstanding.  But  we  were  talking  of  my 
nephew ;  when  he  marries,  he  says  he  must  and  will  mar- 
ry perfection. 

Kale.  Does  he  indeed?  meaning,  no  doubt,  that 
naught  but  perfection  can  pretend  to  match  with  him  : 
well  done,  vanity ! 

Sir  L.  Don't  blame  the  lad  ;  I  was  just  the  same  at  his 

Kate.  And  you  have  reaped  the  advantages  of  it — well, 
do  you  know  I  am  just  as  particular  as  your  nephew  ?  1 
never  mean  to  marry  till  1  meet  with — 

Sir  L.  Perfection  !  hey  1 

Kate.  No,  Sir  Lawrence,  one  peep  will  not  do — I 
would  rather  he  disliked  me  at  the  first  peep,  and  loved 
me  afterwards,  than  that  he  should  be  over  head  and  ears 
in  love  with  me  at  the  first  view,  and  I  scarcely  ancle 
deep,  when  I  became  his  wife. 

Sir  L.  This  is  all  nonsense.  I  will  send  him  to  you, 
and  I  have  no  fears  about  the  result ;  in  you  he  will  find 
the  wife  he  wants,  (that  is)  perfection.  Good-bye,  Kate  ; 
I'll  bring  him  to  you  this  very  day.  [Exit,  i,. 

Kate.  Perfection,  forsooth  !  well,  T  admire  the  man's 
vanity.  To  be  trotted  out  like  a  steed  for  sale,  and,  if  not 
deemed  satisfactory,  to  be  trotted  in  again.  No,  no  !  Kate 
O'Brien  has  too  much  spirit  for  that.  They  say  1  shall 
never  marry ;  and  if  to  all  who  pop  questions,  I  continue 



answering  with  that  chilling  monosyllable  no,  perchance 
I  never  may — well — 

\Song.] .   "  I'll  not  believe  it."  [Exit,  R. 

SCENE  II. — An  Apartment  at  Sir  Lawrence  Paragon's. 
CHARLES  reading  L.  of  table,  SAM  busying  himself  at  table. 

Chas.  Well !  what  are  you  fidgeting  about  ? — do  be 

Sam.  I'm  putting  to  rights,  sir.  What  a  kind-hearted 
gentleman  your  uncle  is — but  quite  thrown  away,  if  I 
may  presume  to  say  such  a  thing.  If  he  hadn't  been  an 
old  bachelor,  he'd  have  been  the  snuggest  elderly  person 
I  ever  saw.  Let  it  be  a  warning  to  you,  sir,  if  I  may  be 
so  bold ;  you've  missed  your  opportunities  before  now, 
you  know,  and  you  may  do  that  once  too  often. 

Ch'js.   Well,  upon  my  word,  free  and  easy. 

Sam.  Why,  I  didn't  serve  you  at  Oxford,  without  know- 
ing how  to  claim  my  privilege  for  old  acquaintance.  Do 
get  a  wife. 

Chas.  Hold  your  tongue,  Sam.  I  never  saw  the  wo- 
man yet,  that  I  could  conscientiously  throw  myself  away 

Sam.  If  you  please  to  give  me  leave,  sir,  I  mean  to 
alter  my  condition,  as  soon  as  I  meet  a  genteel,  comely 

Chas.  With  all  my  heart :  marry  a  plain  cook,  if  you 

Sam.  No  :  a  pretty  ladies'  maid — I  can't  help  taking 
warning  of  your  uncle — I'll  marry  forthwith. 

Chas.  When  you  do,  you'll  please  to  take  warning  of 
me,  and  find  another  place  ;  I'll  have  no  encumbrance, 
no  soothing  solace,  no  babes,  no  sucklings,  on  my  establish- 
ment ;  so,  when  you  begin  paying  your  addresses,  I'll  pay 
you  your  wages — and  when  you  mean  to  be  any  woman's 
humble  servant,  please  to  remember  you  are  no  servant 
of  mine. 

Sam.  Well,  now,  really,  sir,  that  is  very  hard ;  what 
objection  can  you  have  to  the  hymeneal  altar  ]  yet  I  can't 
help  thinking  that  you'll  marry  one  of  these  days,  not- 

Gha*.  When  I  am,  you'll  find  my  wife   a  perfect  wo- 

20  PERFECTION.  [Acrl 

man ;  and  as  that  is  a  sight  we  are  none  of  us  likely  to 
meet  with,  why,  the  probability  is — that  you'll  go  to  the 
grave  without  seeing  my  wife.  But  having  given  you  my 
opinion  of  your  own  matrimonial  plans,  you'll  please  to 
leave  me  to  my  fate ;  and  moreover,  as  1  see  my  uncle 
coming  this  way,  you  will  do  me  the  favour  of  leaving 
the  room. 

Sam.  By  all  means,  sir. — [Aside.]  1  see,  my  union,  when- 
ever I  do  make  a  selection,  must  be  clandecent,  for  he'll 
never  give  me  a  special  license :  but  I'll  be  churched  in 
spite  of  him.  [Exit,  L. 


Sir  L.  I'm  sure  it  is  an  east  wind,  for  I  have  a  pain  ii? 
my  right  shoulder,  just  like  that  I  had  in  my  left,  in  mj 
last  rheumatism  but  one.  Bless  me,  Charles,  what  a  ha 
bit  you  have,  of  not  wiping  your  feet  at  the  street  door— 
the  stair  carpets  are  all  of  a  mess. 

Chas.  Bless  me,  uncle,  I  beg  your  pardon — I  have  not 
been  accustomed  to  a  bachelor's  house. 

Sir  L.  Ay,  Charles,  that  is  it ;  you  mean,  you  never 
were  privy  to  an  old -bachelor's  peculiarities:  look  to 
yourself,  then,  and  take  care ;  take  warning  of  me.  That 
ever  I  should  live  to  be  a  scare-crow ! 

Chas.  They  tell  me,  sir,  that  you  were  very  Tike  what  I 
now  am. 

Sir  L.  Umph  !  there  is  a  resemblance  indeed  ;  but  you 
have  not  got  quite  the  dimple  I  had  in  my  chin.  Oh  ! 
you  need  not  look  for  it  now,  you'll  see  a  wrinkle  instead; 
but  take  warning,  I  say — have  you  thought  of  our  lato 
conversation  1 

Chan.  Sir  Lawrence,  my  dear  uncle ;  almost  anything 
I  would  willingly  do  to  oblige  you — but  matrimony,  no — 
there  I  must  be  obstinate. 

Sir  L.  And  why,  pray,  why  1 

Chas.  Oh  !  I  adore  the  sex ;  yes,  collectively,  they  ar« 
my  idols ;  but  to  one  individual  of  woman  kind,  never 
will  I  bend  the  knee. 

Sir  L.  That's  all  stuff;  very  proper  rattle  for  a  boy  in 
his  teens  ;  but  live-and-twenty  ought  to  be  above  it.  Si- 
tuated as  you  are,  Charles,  it  is  your  duty  to  marry. 


Okas.  Ah,  sir — duty  ! — prove  that  it  can  be  my  plea- 
sure, and  I  shall  obey.  But  why  is  it  my  duty  ] 

Sir  Li.  Answer  me — are  not  you  my  poor,  dear,  dead 
brother's  only  son  ] 

Ckas.  There's  no  denying  that,  uncle. 

Sir  L.  Well,  and  I  having  no  children  of  my  own,  are 
you  not  heir  to  my  estate  and  property  1 

Chas.  Such  is  at  present  the  fact,  sir ;  but  why  force  a 
pill  down  my  throat,  which  you  could  never  be  induced 
to  swallow — why  don't  you  marry  ]  why  don't  you  hand 
down  both  name  and  fortune  in  the  direct  line  1 

Sir  L.  Oh,  nonsense  !  I'm  too  old  to  marry. 

Ckas.  Not  at  all ;  you  are  very  hale — 

Sir  L.  Hale  !  yes — I  hate  the  word — when  you  say  a 
man's  hale,  you  only  mean  he  totters  on  tolerably,  consi- 
dering his  age  :  no  man  tells  another  under  sixty,  he' 
hale — hale's  a  very  wintry  expression.  I  wish  I  had  mar- 
ried forty  years  ago — yes,  the  younger  the  better  ;  don't 
you  wait  too  long ;  I  repeat,  it  is  your  duty  to  marry. 

Chas.  So  I  have  been  told  ever  since  I  was  nineteen ; 
and,  I  suppose,  that  is  the  reason  I  have  never  chosen  a 
wife.  Had  I  been  the  youngest  son  of  a  younger  brother, 
with  nothing  but  a  curacy,  or  a  cornet's  commission,  I 
dare  say  I  should  have  been  warned  against  matrimony, 
and  should  have  run  away  with  an  apothecary's  daughter, 
and  have  been  the  happy  father  of  ten  little  blooming  nudi- 

Sir  L.  Well,  Charles,  you  certainly  ought  to  know 
best ;  I  dare  say  you  are  as  obstinate  _and  as  headstrong 
as  myself;  and  I  hate  obstinacy  as  I  hate — 

Chas.  Undutiful  nephews. 

Sir  L.  No,  Charles,  you  are  not  undutiful — at  least, 
only  on  this  occasion  ;  and  as  to  hating  you,  that  is  im- 

Ckas.  Thank  you,  uncle ;  and  now,  for  once,  I  will 
confess  that  I  am  not  so  obstinate  as  you  seem  to  imagine. 
[  have  really  no  very  decided  objection  to  matrimony. 

Sir  L.  Then,  why  on  earth  don't  you  look  about  you  ? 

Chas.  I  do,  positively,  uncle  ;  1  hare  looked,  and  am 
looking,  and  shall  or  will  look.  But  when  I  many,  my 
choice  will  not  be  on  an  every-day  woman — my  wife  must 
be  'perfection. 

22  PERFECTION.  [Act  I. 

Sir  L.  Oh  !   of  course — at  least,  you  will  think  her  so. 

Chas.  The  world  must  think  her  so,  or  I  shall  not  be 
content.  She  must  have  a  faultless  face,  a  faultless  mind  ; 
she  must  be  beautiful  without  vanity ;  graceful  without 
conceit ;  retiring  without  mautaise  hontc  ;  talented  without 
display;  agreeable  without  coquetry;  amiable  without 
sentimentality ;  liberal  without  ostentation ;  animated 
without  frivolity — 

Sir  L.  Hold  !  stop  !  mercy  on  me,  there's  no  end  to 
your  list. 

Chas.  All  this  my  wife  must  be. 

Sir  L.  And  pray,  Charles,  supposing  the  lady  should 
have  as  long  a  list  of  indispensables,  what  will  become  of 
you  1 

Clias.  I  can't  say;  but  we  are  discussing  to  very  little 
purpose  :  I  shall  never  live  to  see  the  sort  of  person  1  des- 

Sir  L.  Why,  really,  it  will  be  no  very  easy  matter  to 
find  such  a  one,  I  admit.  Must  she  sing] 

Chas.  Like  a  seraph. 

Sir  L.  Must  she  draw  1 

Chas.  Like  Angelica  Kauffman. 

Sir  L.  Must  she  dance  1 

Chas.  Like  a  sylph. 

Sir  L.  Well,  you  really  are  a  most  unconscionable  per- 
son— every  accomplishment,  and  perfect  in  all !  1  was 
going  to  present  you  to  a  fair  lady  of  my  acquaintance  ; 
but  I  shall  not  do  so  now. 

Chas.  Don't  say  so !  any  friend  of  yours,  as  an  ac- 
quaintance, 1  can  have  no  objection  to.  But  my  wife  must 
be  all  f  describe. 

SirL.  All? 

Chas.  All! 

Sir  L.  Very  well,  say  no  more  about  it.  I  shall  not  in- 
troduce you  to  Kate. 

Chas.  Kate,  did  you  say  1  Kate  !  why  not]  what  Kate, 
which  Kate  1 

Sir  L.  Oh  !  never  mind  ;  she  is  not  perfection. 

Chas.  I  dare  say  not.     But  where  is  she  ]  who  is  she  ? 

Sir  L.  The  orphan  daughter  of  General  O'Brien,  an 
old  Irish  friend  of  mine. 

Chas.  Irish  !  oh,  I  understand — she  has  a  brogue. 


Sir  L.  No,  on  my  honour,  she  has  no  brogue. 

C/ias.  Well,  what  they  call  a  slight  Irish  accent,  then — 
yes,  upon  my  faith,  a  mighty  pretty,  illigant  way  of  talking 
for  a  young  female. 

Sir  L.  Your  ridicule  is  thrown  away,  and  misapplied. 
My  little  friend,  Kate  O'Brien,  has  not  an  atom  of  her 
country's  accent ;  though,  if  she  had,  I'm  sure  she  has 
too  much  good  sense  to  be  ashamed  of  it.  However,  since 
you've  thought  proper  to  quiz  her — I  shall  not  introduce 
you  to  her. 

Chas.  Then  I'll  be  even  with  you.  I'll  find  out  her 
address — I'll  pay  her  a  visit,  introduce  myself,  and  declare 
my  worthy  uncle  sent  me. 

Sir  L.  Her  address  is  easily  found,  for  she  lives  in  the 
next  street ;  but  I  know  you  will  not  have  the  assurance 
to  call  upon  her. 

Chas.  I  give  you  due  notice,  sir,  that  I  will,  and  that 
within  this  hour ;  so,  uncle,  when  we  meet  again,  I  shall 
have  seen  your  Wild  Irish  Girl.  [Exit,  R, 

Sir  L.  That's  the  way  with  them  all :  tell  them  they 
shall,  and  they  won't ;  tell  them  they  shan't,  and  they  will. 
'Twas  just  the  same  with  me — I  was  desired  to  marry  by 
father,  mother,  and  maiden  aunts,  and  here  I  am,  like  a 
shrivelled  old  pea  in  a  pot,  at  sixty  and  odd  years.  If  I 
could  but  bring  these  two  together,  'twould  be  something 
to  look  at ;  I  should  have  a  chance  for  a  family  party  on 
Christmas  day,  and  New- Year's  day,  and  other  days,  when 
family  men  have  family  parties,  and  jollifications,  and  when 
nobody  but  old  bachelors  sit  sulkily  by  themselves.  Gad  ! 
Charles  shan't  take  the  girl  by  surprise,  though !  I'll  send 
her  a  note,  and  put  her  on  her  guard.  [Exit,  R. 

SCENE  III. — An  Apartment  at  Kate  O'Brien's. 

Enter  SUSAN,  R. 

Sits.  Well,  gentlefolks,  certainly,  are  the  strangest  be- 
ings :  there's  no  understanding  them.  My  mistress  was 
born  with  a  silver  spoon  in  her  mouth — a  silver  spoon,  did  I 
say "?  law,  it  must  have  been  a  soup  ladle,  for  she's  got  all 
the  good  things  of  this  world  about  her ;  and  yet  she  won't 
marry,  and  settle,  and  make  herself  agreeable,  but  goes 
on  refusing  and  refusing,  till,  one  day  or  t'other,  there'll 


[ACT  I. 

be  nobody  to  say  "  no"  to.  That's  not  my  way ;  I've 
thought  the  matter  over  very  seriously,  and  I'm  resolved 
to  marry,  the  first  opportunity. 

Enter  SAM,  L. 

Who  can  this  be,  I  wonder.  Dear  me,  a  very  nice,  spruce 
young  man.  I  wish  I  had  put  on  my  t'other  cap. 

Sam.  What  a  very  fine  young  person  !  Pray,  ma'am, 
are  you  Miss  O'Brien's  maid  1 

Sus.  I  am,  sir — her  own  maid. 

Sam.  Oh !  you  need  not  tell  me  that ;  I  saw  at  once 
you  were,  an  upper  servant.  There's  lady's  maid  in  all 
your  motions. 

Sus.  Oh,  sir,  you're  vastly  genteel.  Pray,  may  I  ask 
your  business  ? 

Sam.  I've  no  business  at  present ;  I  mean  to  go  into 
business  when  I  marry ;  and,  when  I  look  at  you,  I  wish 
that  were  to  be  this  afternoon. 

Sus.  You  misunderstand  me.    What  brought  you  here  ? 

Sam.  I  am  come  from  Sir  Lawrence  Paragon. 

Sus.  Are  you  in  his  service  ? 

Sam.  I'm  his  nephew's  man — his  own  man. 

Sus.  Oh !  you  needn't  tell  me  that ;  I  saw  at  once,  you 
were  an  upper  servant.  There's  gentleman's  gentleman 
in  all  your  motions. 

Sam.  But  at  this  present  moment,  I  come  from  Sir 
Lawrence  Paragon;  for  he  has  really  nobody  in  his  esta- 
blishment, at  all  distinguished  or  respectable ;  so  he  likes 
to  employ  me,  and  I  am  very  obliging.  Here's  a  note  for 
your  lady,  and  it's  to  be  delivered  immediately.  It  sounds 
very  ungallant  in  me  to  say,  but  immediately  was  Sir 
Lawrence's  word. 

Sus.  I  must  run  with  it  to  my  mistress;  she  is  in  her 
boudoir.  [Trying  to  peep  into  the note.\  I  hate  this  three- 
cornered  way  of  folding  notes. 

Sain.  So  do  I,  madam ;  it  curtails  one's  information 
sadly.  I  hope,  ma<lam,  you'll  visit  Sir  Lawrence's  house- 
keeper ;  she  is  vastly  genteel,  indeed. 

Sus.  I  do  drop  in  there  sometimes.  Good  morning,  sir. 
Tell  Mrs.  Fritter  I  shall  soon  pay  her  a  visit.  I  wish  you 
a  very  good  morning. 

\Cartesys  affectedly,  and  exit,  L.   Sam,  R. 



SCENE  IV. — Kate  O'Brien's  boudoir — large  folding  doors 
in  the  centre — an  elegant  couch ,  with  handsome  shawl  ly- 
ing on  tt.  Small  table,  on  rollers,  chair,  fyc. 

KATE  discovered. 

Kate.  Heigho  !  why  was  1  born  an  heiress  ?  envied  by 
my  own  sex,  perpetually  teased  by  the  men,  and  knowing 
but  too  well,  that  I  am  sought  only  for  my  gold.  Of  one 
thing  I  am  resolved  :  I  never  will  marry,  'till  I  have  good 
reason  to  know  that  I  am  loved  for  myself  alone. 

Enter  SUSAN,  u. 

Sus.  A  note,  madam, — no  answer,  the  young  man  s,aid. 
A  very  nice,  genteel  looking  young  man  he  was,  too — 

Kate.  You  think  of  nothing,  Susan,  but  nice  young  men, 
Go  about  your  business. 

Sus.  Well,  I'm  sure,  there's  no  harm  in  that.  He  was 
a  v«ery  nice  young  man,  that  I  will  maintain. 

\Exit  through  the  folding  doors. 

Kate.  [After  reading  the  note.\  From  my  good  guardian, 
Sir  Lawrence  Paragon ;  and  to  inform  me,  as  I  am  to  ex- 
pect a  visit  from  his  nephew,  he  hopes  I  will  appear  to  the 
best  advantage.  I  suppose,  all  my  graces  now,  and  none 
of  my  airs.  [Reads.]  "  You  have  only  to  exert  tJie  fascina- 
tions you  2>ossess,  to  win  his  heart,  and,  make  me  your  affection- 
ate uncle" — Thankye  kindly,  sir — I  fear  your  partiality 
blinds  you.  But  what  shall  I  do  with  the  nephew  1  "  The 
woman  he  marries  must  be  perfection."  If  he  resembles  Sir 
Lawrence,  I'm  sure  to  like  him ;  and,  if  so,  I  may  be 
tempted  to  try  and  win  him  ;  but  it  shall  be  without  dis- 
playing one  of  the  perfections,  which  he  has  declared  to 
be  indispensable.  He  thinks  to  take  me  by  surprise  ;  but 
he  shall  not  find  me  without  a  plot. 

Enter  SUSAN,  c. 

Susan!  [Knock  without. 

Sus.  Yes,  ma'am — [^/'dc.]  There  is  a  young  gentleman 
knocking  at  the  door — a  very  nice  looking  gentleman — 
but  I  don't  dare  say  so. 

Kate.  Wheel  that  sofa  there.  Now  for  the  table.  [<S«- 
san  wheels  table  to  the  front,  on  wh:,ch  lie  a  nosegay  and  a 


[ACT  I. 

portfolio.  Kale,  throwing  licrself  on  soja.]  Now,  unfold  my 
shawl.  There,  throw  it  over  my  feet.  Make  haste.  Now 
leave  me. 

Sus.  What  can  she  be  about  1  I  think  she  is  out  of  her 
lunacies.  [Exit  L. 

Enter  SERVANT,  R. 

Scr.  Mr.  Paragon,  madam,  is  below. 

Kate.  Show  him  in.  [Servant  sfiotet  in  Charles,  and  exit. 

C/tas.  Madam,  my  uncle,  Sir  Lawrence  Pai-agon,  be- 
ing prevented  calling  on  you,  as  he  intended,  I  am  obliged 
to  introduce  myself. — [AwWf.J  She  is  exceedingly  pretty. 

Kate.  You  will  excuse  my  not  rising  to  receive  you,  sir. 
Pray  sit  down.  I  am  very  happy — 1  am  very  happy  to 
see  you.  The  nephew  of  my  father's  old  friend,  must  al- 
ways be  welcome  here. 

C/tas.  [Aside.]  Come,  there's  no  brogue,  however.  Her 
manner  is  enchanting. — Madam,  you  are  very  kind.  I 
am  afraid  I've  called  at  an  unseasonable  hour;  I  have  dis- 
turbed you ;  you  are  reposing — perhaps  you  were  sleep- 
ing— possibly  dreaming. — [yls/V/e.J  I  wonder  she  doesn't 
get  up. 

Kate.  No,  sir ;  you  could  not  have  called  more  oppor- 
tunely. I  have  been  looking  over  this  endless  portfolio 
of  drawings. 

C/tas.  Drawings!  are  you  fond  of  the  art? 

Kate.  Excessively  !     I  could  look  at  them  for  ever. 

Cfiax.  [Asidc.\  Accomplished  creature  !  I  always  said, 
that  when  I  did  fall  in  love,  it  would  be  at  first  sight ; 
and  I  do  believe  my  time  is  come  at  last. 

Kate.  What  a  delightful  art  painting  is  !  to  be  able  to 
perpetuate  the  features  of  those  who  are  dear  to  us. 

Lhas.  Charming! 

Kate.  Or  to  treasure  up  some  remembrances  of  scenes 
in  which  we  have  been  happy,  but  which  we  may  neve? 
look  upon  again. 

Chat.  Delightful! 

Kate.  Or  to  copy  the  classical  groups  of  antiquity,  or 
form  new  combinations  of  graceful,  lovely  figui'es. 

Chan.  Oh  !  your  enthusiasm  quile  enchants  me. 

Kate.  Oh  !  you  are  enthusiastic,  also  1 

C/ias.  Oh,  prodigiously!     Pray,  my  dear  madam,  a 


me  to  feast  my  eyes  upon  some  of  your  drawings. — [./i*trfe.] 
Angelic  creature! 

Kate.  Sir — sir,  what  did  you  say  1 

Chas.  Permit  me  to  see  one  of  your  performances. 

Kate.  I  regret  to  say,  I  never  had  the  least  idea  of 
drawing ;  my  houses,  my  trees,  and  my  cattle,  are  all  one 
confused  jumble  of  scratches. 

Chas.  Not  draw  ? 

Kate.  No — do  you  ? 

Chas.  I  ]  Oh,  no  !  But  I  quite  misunderstood  you. 
I  thought — [.4.«Vfc.]  Dear  me!  what  a  pity  such  a  sweet 
creature  should  lack  such  a  resource,  such  an  accomplish- 
ment ! 

Kate.  Is  anything  the  matter,  sir! 

Chas.  Oh,  nothing. — [Aside.]  After  all,  it  is  but  one. 
I've  no  doubt  she  has  all  the  rest. 

Kate.  Did  you  speak  ? 

Chas.  I  was  saying,  I  never  heard  so  musical  a  voice. 

Kate.  Oh,  you  flatter  me.  You  mention  music — do  you 
not  doat  on  it  ? 

Chas.  Ah !  there  we  do  agree.  The  woman  who  sings  ! 

Kate.  Yes,  sir, 

Chas.  The  woman  who  plays! 

Kate.  Yes,  sir. 

Chas.  The  woman  who  does  both  well,  is  a  divinity. 
You  are  an  enthusiast  in  your  love  of  music.  I  see  you 

Kate.  I  am,  sir :  music  is  my  passion  !  music  in  the 
morning  ;  music  in  the  evening ;  music  at  the  silent  hour 
of  night ;  music  on  the  water — 

Chas.  What  a  woman  she  is  ! 

Kate.  Music  at  any  hour. 

Chas.  Yes,  or  on  any  instrument. 

Kate.  Oh,  yes ;  from  the  magnificent  organ,  to  the  gen- 
tle lute. 

Chas.  Delicious ! 

Kate.  Or  a  voice — better  than  all,  a  soul-enchanting 

Chas.  [Aside.]  There  is  no  resisting  her. — Oh,  madam, 

Kate.  Alas,  sir  !  how  shall  I  make  the  sad  confession  ? 
much  as  I  love  music,  I  can  only  listen. 


[Act  I. 

Chas.  What  1 

Kate.  I  have  not  a  singing  note  in  my  voice ;  and  no 
one  could  ever  teach  me  to  play. 

Chas.  [Aside.}  Was  there  ever  such  an  impostor! — Ma- 
dam, you  positively  astonish  me. 

Kate.  How  so,  sir — can  you  sing  ? 

Chas.  Oh,  no ;  men  are  not  expected  to  acquire  those 
accomplishments ;  but  a  woman — that  is — 1 — 1 — 

Kate.  I  know,  sir :  you  were  going  to  say,  that  a  wo- 
man, without  them,  is  little  better  than  a  brute. 

Chas.  Madarn,  how  can  you  suppose — 

Kate.  Ay,  sir,  and  I  perfectly  agree  with  you — but,  sir, 
'tis  my  misfortune,  and  not  my  fault. 

Chas.  [Jlside.]  What  a  pensive  tone  of  voice,  and  what 
a  countenance  !  there  can  be  no  humbug  there.  Spite  of 
all  her  lamentable  deficiencies,  I  am  fascinated. 

Kale.  My  fate  is  an  unhappy  one — I  am  an  orphan,  as 
you  know,  and,  of  course,  labouring  under  such  defects, 
I  never  mean  to  marry. 

Chas.  Never  mean  to  marry  ? 

Kate.  Never! 

Chas.  Oh,  madam,  in  mercy  to  mankind,  make  not  so 
rash,  so  inconsiderate  a  resolve. 

Kate.  Sir,  it  is  in  mercy  to  mankind  I  make  it.  What 
would  be  a  fond  husband  s  sufferings,  were  he  to  see  the 
wife  of  his  bosom  sinking  under  the  degrading  conscious- 
ness that  she  was  unworthy  of  him  ? 

Chas.  Unworthy ! 

Kate.  Would  he  not  cast  her  from  him  !  Yes,  yes,  he 
would  do  so — I  must  live  on  unloved. 

Chas.  [ Aside.]  By  Jove  !  she  is  irresistible  ! — Madam,  I 
adore  you — listen  to  me ;  oh,  listen,  and  smile  on  me — 
hear  me  :  I  love  you — oh !  love  me,  pray  do  !  [Kneels. 

Kate.  Sir,  this  is  so  unlooked-for,  so  unexpected. 

Chas.  Nay,  do  not  frown  upon  me;  allow  me  to  hope. 

Kate.  Rise,  sir;  you  may  hope — but  the  surprise,  the 
agitation — pray  ring  that  bell. 

Chas.  [Aside.]  She's  going  to  faint.  [Rings  bell,  L. 

Kate.  So,  then,  I  must  retire.  My  maid  shall  return, 
and  speak  a  few  words  to  you  ;  and  then,  after  having 
seen  your  uncle,  you  may  visit  me  again. 


Enter  SUSAN,  c. 

Come  here,  Susan.  [  Whispers  her. 

Svs.  La,  madam,  is  it  possible  ? 
Kate.  Obey  me  instantly.     Call  the  servant. 
Sus.  John,  come  here,  instantly. 

Enter  JOHN. 

Chas.  [Aside.]  What  on  earth  does  she  want1?  Why 
don't  she  get  up  1 

Kate.  Now,  Susan,  open  the  doors.  John,  wheel  the 
sofa  into  the  other  room.  Adieu,  sir;* my  maid  shall  re- 
turn immediately. 

[S/tc  is  wheeled  into  the  next  room,  and  the  door  closes. 

Chas.  Well,  positively,  that  is  the  laziest  proceeding  I 
ever  witnessed.  By  the  by,  'twas  all  my  fault.  I  suppose 
she  was  too  faint  to  move.  Oh,  here  comes  the  maid. 

Enter  SUSAN,  c. 

Sus.  [Aside.\  Well,  mistress  is  mad,  that's  certain  ;  but 
I  must  do  as  I'm  bid. 

CJias.  How  is  your  mistress  ]  She  is  a  charming  crea- 
ture. What  a  happy  girl  you  are — what  a  sweet  mistress 
yeu  have  got ! 

Sus.  She  is  charming — poor  thing ! 

Chas.  Poor  thing!  what  do  you  mean  by  poor  thing1? 

Sus.  Oh,  it's  very  sad. 

Chas.  What  is  sad  1 

Svs.  You  saw  my  mistress  whisper  me  1 

Chas.  Yes,  to  be  sure!  but  there's  nothing  so  sad  in  a 

Sus.  Indeed,  but  there  is,  though.  She  desired  me  to 
reveal  the  affair  to  you  :  she  had  not  courage  to  tell  you 
herself.  To  be  sure,  you  must  have  known  it,  sooner  or 

Chas.  What  do  you  mean  ?  You  frighten  me  out  of 
my  wits. 

Sus.  It's  a  sad  affliction,  to  be  sure — a  very  great  de- 
fect— she's  much  to  be  pitied. 

Chas.  A  defect  ?  another  defect  ?  and  I  have  committed 
myself- — I've  proposed — 

Sus.  Oh.  sir! 

Chas.  Speak  out,  do. 

30  PERFECTION.  [Acr  1 

Sus.  Many  years  ago — 

Chas.  That's  as  bad  as  "  once  upon  a  time."  Pray  go 
on — make  haste. 

Sus,  My  mistress  was  thrown  from  her  horse — 

Chas.  Yes — well,  she  was  not  killed,  so  what  then  ? 

Sus.  [Pretending  to  weep.]  Fractured  limb — 

Chas.  Oh  !  what  limb  ] 

Sus.  Leg — broke  all  to  bits,  and — 

Chas.  Well,  speak. 

Sus.  Amputation — 

Chas.  What !  . 

Sus.  She  has  got  a  cork  leg. 

Chas.  A  cork  leg  !  Horror !  What  have  I  djone  ?  en- 
gaged myself — 1  shall  go  mad  ! 

Sus.  Good  morning,  sir.  I  must  go,  if  you  please,  to 
give  my  mistress  the  stick. 

Chas.  Do,  by  all  means.  [Exit  Susan.]  I  deserve  the 
stick  worst.  I,  that  said  I  would  marry  perfection — 
I've  bound  myself  to  the  fraction  of  a  woman.  [Exit,  R. 

SCENE  V. — Room  at  Sir  Lawrence  Paragon's. 
Enter  SUSAN  and  SAM,  L. 

Sam.  So,  you  say  my  master  is  actually  going  to  marry 
her  ?  Bless  the  man,  they'll  be  a  three-legged  couple — 
a  matrimonial  tripod.  Had  he  seen  you,  when  he  pro- 
posed for  the  lady  1 

Sus.  Oh!  yes — why? 

Sam.  Then  I  wonder  at  him — that's  all. 

Sus.  Oh  !  you  flatter. 

Sam.  Let  me  see.  You  stand  pretty  stoutish  on  your 
pins,  don't  you  "? 

Sus.  Nonsense.     I'll  hear  no  such  remarks. 

Sam.  Gad  !  I  never  saw  neater  timbers.  You  can  stir 
yonr  stumps  with  the  best  of  them.  That  ever  my  master 
should  marry  a  hoppikelky  ! 

Sus.  You'll  not  use  such  nicknames,  if  you  please. 

Sam.  Don't  be  angry — but,  you  know,  she  has  a  tim- 
ber toe.  Why,  my  master  always  used  to  say,  his  wife 
should  be  perfection ;  and  now  he  takes  a  woman  whose 
body  turns  on  a  pivot.  Here  he  comes,  as  if  he  was 
hunting  after  your  mistress's  other  leg. 


Sus.  I'll  leave  you,  then,  Sam.  My  presence  will  only 
make  him  worse.  I  suppose  I  shall  see  him  by  and  by  at 
Miss  O'Binen's.  Oh,  they'll  be  a  sweet  couple.  [Exit,  L. 

Sam.  Sweet  couple  !  couple  of  ducks,  standing  on  one 
leg,  with  the  other  tucked  under  the  left  wing. 

Enter  CHARLES,  L. 

Chas.  I  wonder  if  the  wind  is  fair  for  America.  Not 
that  any  other  place  wouldn't  do  as  well ;  only  the  farther 
off  the  better. 

Sam.  Do  you  dress  for  dinner,  sir  ]  What  shall  I  put 

Ghas.  Out  of  my  way,  sir.  I'll  not  change.  Oh,  Sam, 
Sam,  I'm  going  to  change  my  condition  ;  I'm  going  to  be 
married ! 

Sam.  Married  !  Oh,  what  a  lady  you  must  have  seen  ! 
I  never  thought  you  would  have  found  one  perfect  enough. 
At  all  events,  when  she  saw  you,  sir,  1  warrant  she  put 
her  best  foot  foremost. 

Chas.  Best  foot !  Oh,  Sam ! — but  it  doesn't  signify. 
Where's  my  uncle  ? 

Sam.  He  is  coming,  sir. 

Chas.  Then  you'll  begone.  You'll  nave  to  go  in  mourn- 
ing for  me,  very  soon.  Oh,  Sam  !  Sam  ! 

Sam.  [Atide.]  Master's  mad.  I  suppose  it's  all  along 
of  love.  [Exit,  L. 

Enter  SIR  LAWRENCE,  R. 

Sir  L.  \Aside.]  Foolish  girl — I  hate  all  plots.  She  has 
told  me  of  her  mad  schemes.  I  must  not  frustrate  them. 
Here  is  the  inconsolable.  I  must  affect  ignorance. — 
Well,  Charles,  you  have  seen  her,  I  suppose  1  How  is 
this]  you  seem  agitated.  What's  the  matter1? 

Chas.  Agitated  !  well  1  may  be,  sir. 

Sir  L.  Explain. 

Chas.  I  have  at  least  done  what  you  wished  me — to 
make  a  long  story  short,  I've  offered  Miss  O'Brien  my 
hand  and  heart. 

Sir  L.  No  !  you  delight  me.     Tol  de  rol ! 

Chas.  Oh  !  don't  dance  about,  uncle ;  you'll  bring  on 
your  rheumatism.  It's  no  dancing  business,  I  assure  you. 

Sir  L.  I  never  was  so  happy.     Is  she  not  perfect  ? 

32  PERFECTION.  [Aci  I. 

Chas.  Perfect !  Ah,  sir !  that  is  as  all  pe  !>ple  may 
think.  I  fear  you  have  not  seen  her  lately. 

Sir  L.  Not  lately — no — but  is  she  not  indeed  perfec- 
tion 1  Yes,  and  so  you  have  already  thrown  yourself  at 
her  feet. 

Chas.  Feet !   I  wish  that  were  possible. 

Sir  L.  Well,  now  my  fondest  hopes   are  realised, 
thought  she  would  take  steps  to  ingratiate  herself  in  youi 

Chas.  Take  steps  !     Heigho  ! 

Sir  L.  I  knew  how  it  would  be  ;  and  I  will  say  this  for 
you,  Charles,  she  is  a  fortunate  girl;  there's  many  a  one 
would  be  glad  to  step  into  her  shoes. 

Chas.  Shoes  !  alas  !  he  knows  not  what  he  says.  She 
knows  the  substantive  shoe  only  in  the  singular  num- 
ber;— she  never  buys  a  pair.  What  are  rights  and  lefts 
to  her ! 

Sir  L.  You  look  as  if  you  were  in  a  hobble. 

Chas.  A  hobble,  sir  ?     You  lacerate  me. 

Sir  L.  How  is  this !  sighing !  you  have  made  but  a 
lame  love  affair,  I  am  afraid.  But  now  tell  me  :  you  al- 
ways said  the  woman  you  married  should  possess  every 
accomplishment,  every  perfection.  Of  course,  she  draws. 

Chas.  Why,  no — she  doesn't  exactly  possess  that  ac- 

Sir  L.  Not  draw  ?  dear — that  can't  be  helped.  Of 
course,  she  sings  1 

Gha*.  With  humiliation,  I  confess  she  cannot  sing. 

Sir  L.  Well,  well;  never  mind;  don't  be  cast  down. 
At  all  events,  her  dancing  makes  amends. 

Chas.  Sir,  she  is  unable  to  dance. 

Sir  L.  Oh,  nonsense ;  you  are  jesting.  I  shall  live  to 
see  you  foot  it  together. 

Chas.  Foot  it !  she  can't  foot  it. 

Sir  L.  Not  foot  it  1 — pooh !  I'll  make  her  foot  it — she 
shall  dance  with  me — egad,  I'll  invite  all  the  country 
round  ;  ay,  and  I'll  give  her  a  hop. 

Chas.  It  must  be  a  hop,  if  she  has  anything  to  do  with 
it.  But  every  word  you  say  wounds  me  deeply,  sir.  The 
fact  is,  she's  a  miserable  object. 

Sir  L.  A  what  ? 

Chas.  Mutilated. 



Sir  L.  H^.t !  young  man,  halt ! 

Chas.  That's  it,  sir — she  is  halt. 

Sir  L.  What  do  you  mean,  young  man  ? 

Chas.  She  has  a  cork  leg. 

Sir  L.  A  cork  leg  ] 

Chas.  You  know  the  whole  truth. 

Sir  L.  My  dear  Charles — but  did  you  propose  ? 

Chas.  Alas!  I  did.  I  knew  not  of  her  misfortunes,  till 
afterwards — but  I  have  committed  myself,  and,  as  a  man 
of  honour,  I  cannot  retract. 

Sir  L.  Oh,  dear  me,  Charles — my  dear  Charles,  my 
poor  boy,  my  own  nephew,  this  must  not  be.  You  were 
not  aware — you  must  not,  shall  not  be  aware.  You  shall 
not  marry  her.  Go  to  her  ;  say  I  sent  you  ;  pretend  to  be 
in  despair :  say  I  forbid  you  to  marry  her  ;  say  anything  ; 
apologize  ;  explain.  Lay  all  upon  me.  You  must  be  ex- 
tricated. I'll  go  and  consult  my  lawyer.  Cheer  up,  my 
lad,  all  will  end  well. — [Aside.]  That  it  will.  No  fear  now  ; 
it  will  be  a  match.  [Exit.  R. 

Chas.  Poor  girl — poor  Kate ;  poor,  dear,  melancholy, 
mutilated  Kate.  Why,  how  is  this  1  am  I  not  in  love  ? 
What  am  I  about  to  do  1  renounce  her  1  she  is  unfortu- 
nate— no,  no.  Leave  her  to  limp  through  the  world  alone  ? 
I'm  no  such  cold-hearted  coward.  I'll  fly  to  her,  and  offer 
her  this  arm  to  lean  on  through  life.  [Exit,  R. 

SCENE  VI. — Kate   O'Brien's  boudoir-, — guitar   on  table, 
drawings,  Sfc. — KATE  discovered. 

Kate.  Will  he  come  1  alas,  no !  1  fear  not.  How  can  I 
expect  it.  Hark  !  is  not  that  his  step  ?  yes,  yes,  'tis  he  ; 
and  I  am  safe.  [Springs  on  sofa. 

Enter  CHARLES,  R. 

You  come,  then,  once  more.  You  are  welcome.  You 
come  to  bid  me  farewell. 

Chas.  No,  you  wrong  me.     I  come  to  claim  your  hand. 

Kate.  Ha  !  consider — you  will  repent  too  late. 

Chas.  No,  I  will  not  repent.  When  I  offered  to  be 
your  protector  and  friend,  I  knew  not  how  much  you  need- 
ed both;  and  now,  that  I  do  know  it,  do  you  think  that  I 
will  desert  you  ?  Never  ! 


[ACT  I 

Kate.  Generous  man  !  take  my  hand,  and  when  I  for- 
get your  kindness,  neglect  and  spurn  me.  1  have  already 
endeavoured  to  show  my  sense  of  your  goodness — I  have 
prepared  a  surprise  for  you.  You  seemed  disappointed 
at  my  not  being  able  to  draw.*  In  your  absence,  I  have 
endeavoured  to  make  a  sketch.  Here  it  is. 

C/tas.  Wonderful !  what  a  likeness  !  'tis  your  own  por- 

Kate.  I'm  glad  you  think  it  like.  Take  it ;  and  remem- 
ber, 'twas  my  first  gift. 

Chas.  Thanks  !  a  thousand  thanks. 

Kate.  You  are  fond  of  music,  too.  Like  most  young 
ladies,  when  they  are  asked  to  sing,  I  refused  at  first — but 
now,  if  you  press  me  sufficiently,  I  may  be  induced  to 
own,  I  can  sing  a  little. 

Chas.  Pray,  sing — I — I  implore — 

[  Kate  takes  the  guitar  and  sings. 

[Song.] — "  Kate  Kearney." 

Chas.  The  very  style  I  dote  on.  I'm  transported,  per- 
fectly !  And,  now,  what  new  surprise  have  you  1 

Kate.  Only  one. 

\A  pause.     She  springs  from  the  sofa,  with  the  guitar. 

Chas.  Take  care — you  will  hurt  yourself.  Lean  on  me. 
[Kate  sings  and  dances.\  What  am  I  to  think  ? 

Kate.  Think,  only,  they've  brought  machinery  to  very 
nigh  perfection. 

Chas.  Impossible  !  nay,  your  leg  never  was  fractured. 

Kate.  It  never  was. 

Clta-s.  Huzza !  my  wife's  perfection.  She  has  feet — 
and  thus  I  fall  at  them.  [Kneels. 

Enter  SIR  LAWRENCE,  L. 

Sir  L.  Keep  him  there,  Kate — let  him  always  be  your 

Chas.  Oh,  uncle,  she  is  perfection  !  I  am  the  happiest 
dog  alive. 

Sir  L.  I  knew  her  scheme,  and  the  result  delights  me. 
But,  remember,  your  vanity  has  been  humbled.  You 
vowed  you  would  many  perfection — you  !  as  if  you  de- 
served such  a  wife ;  and  now  I  have  seen  you  implore  a 
girl  to  have  you,  who  you  thought  had  no  accomplish- 
ments, and  only  one  leg  to  stand  on 



Clias.  I  own  it — yes,  Kate — after  all,  I  suppose,  it  must, 
be  admitted  that  I  have  not  met  with  that  monster,  a  per- 
fect woman  ;  for  you,  certainly,  displayed  one  little  failing. 

Kate,  Well,  what  is  it,  pray] 

Chas.  Fibbing !    A  cork"leg  !     Oh,  fie  ! 

Kate.  Nay,  1  told  you  no  fib. 

Cf'tas.  How  so  1 

Kate.  1  have  a  cork  leg — absolutely  two  cork  legs — for 
I  was  born  in  Cork,  in  the  province  of  Munster,  in  my 
own  dear  native  Ireland. 

Chas.  Cork  !  Well,  Sir  Lawrence,  we  must  admit  she 
is  a  cork  model  of  a  perfect  woman. 

Sir  L.  Too  good  for  you,  depend  upon  it.  Oh,  that  I 
had  married  such  a  woman  ! 

Kate.  Well,  after  all,  perhaps  some  may  imitate  me, 
with  advantage ;  for  I  concealed  from  my  lover  some  of 
the  accomplishments  I  possess  ;  and,  consequently,  my 
husband,  finding  me  so  much  better  than  he  expected, 
may  think  me  perfection.  And  if  those  around  me  think 
ftnoiirably  of  the  Maid  of  Munster,  she  cares  not  how  of- 
ten her  lameness  may  return  ;  for  she  will  liust  for  hei 
bUppoit  to  then  indulgent  kindness.